Take a Load Off
March 25th, 2016 by Curtis Condon

Canoe camping allows for larger payloads than backpacking on foot, but space is still limited. Pick and choose carefully what to take along—or be prepared to live without it. Be sure to put heavier items in the bottom of the canoe or kayak, and lighter items on top. Balance the load from side to side to avoid listing. Photo by David Lewis

Something that separates outdoor enthusiasts from most tourists is the desire to get off the beaten path. Backpacking is one way to do that. However, hiking with a heavy pack is hot and strenuous work, even on those rare occasions when heat and humidity are at bay.

A relaxing alternative is “backpacking” by boat. Let a canoe or sea kayak do the heavy lifting while you savor the experience with less effort.

There are many advantages to this method of trekking. In addition to being a low-impact mode of transportation, it allows you to bring along a few more comforts of home. It also affords more freedom to explore nooks and crannies that otherwise would be inaccessible.

The Northwest is perfectly suited to exploring and camping by boat, since the region is blessed with lots of water features.

For more information and destination ideas, visit www.americancanoe.org.

Five Tips for a Glorious Group Hike Experience

  • Select a distance and level of difficulty suitable for everyone in the group.
  • Allow the slowest hiker to set the pace.
  • Share the load. Distribute group gear and supplies according to what individuals are capable of carrying.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Designate someone to take up the rear as a sweeper to account for everyone.

Outdoor 101: Don’t Leave Home Without It
Every outdoor enthusiast knows the wonders of duct tape, but it’s a pain to carry around a big roll of it on outings. Create a small, packable stash by winding a few feet of duct tape around a short pencil, a hiking stick or a water bottle. Also, gray is not the only color choice. Duct tape is now available in many colors, including camo patterns for quick repair of camouflage jackets and pants.

What Holiday is It?
April: Keep America Beautiful Month
April 17: Bat Appreciation Day

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